Links and Car Porn

***

***

“The thing is, you don’t get Hitler because of Hitler — there are always potential Hitlers out there. You get Hitler because of Weimar, and you get Weimar because the liberals are too corrupt and incompetent to maintain a liberal polity.”

***

***

And for car porn, I give you an immaculate 1980 Talbot Lotus Sunbeam. An estimated 150BHP. In that. In 1980. Sold at auction in 2014 for over £50K.

Isn’t that a beaut? A selection of knowledgable opinions on the car here on a forum I used to frequent back in the good old days when the internet wasn’t full of commies and millenial snotgoblins.

AJ

Meanwhile, in other complete and utter bollocks

I saw this is the dead tree edition yesterday while I was procrastinating in the tea room at work.

The more I think about it, the less sense it makes.

image

Fine, whatever.. let’s get to the poll.

Our 10 worst driving habits

1. Not holding steering wheel in ”correct’’ 10-to-two position 46%

Umm.. what? As long as the driver is in control of the vehicle, I don’t care if he’s steering with his elbows.

2. Not applying handbrake at traffic lights 37%

Ah, this is implicit annoyance at being dazzled by high-level brakelights in the dark, I suspect.

Second worst habit though, ORLY?

3. Accelerating between speed cameras 31%

Oh right.. more annoying than facist cameras that enforce artificially lowered speed limits, imposed not for safety, nor for efficient traffic flow,but for REVENUE? I think not.

4. Exceeding urban speed limit 28%

Meh. All speed limits are advisory. You’re better off with me doing 40mph up your road with proper concentration, should I deem the conditions to be safe for it, than you are some brainless pillock whose attention is mostly focused on mollifying the MPV full of kids he/she is ferrying around, rather than looking outside of the vehicle to make sure he’s not mowing down your kids.

5. Drinking and eating while driving 21%

Again, I don’t give a toss what the driver is doing, so long as the vehicle is under proper control. The degree and latitude of control required in a stream of motorway traffic is significantly less than it is crossing the Snake Pass, for example.

It’s all about context.

BTW, you’re changing gear – I don’t need to – I have a spare hand. Disagree? So you don’t think disabled drivers with only one arm should be allowed?

6. Coasting with clutch down 14%

What? I mean.. just … what? WHO CARES!!!???

7. Using horn through frustration 12%

This is a lesser crime than being the driver who causes the frustration, be it through being inattentive or inconsiderate.

8. Passing through amber or red traffic lights 12%

Well duh..

9. Not concentrating 11%

Sorry.. I wasn’t listening then.. BTW lack of concentration (or failure to observe) is the #1 primary factor in road traffic accidents.

image

See? in 2009 – failure to look properly contributed to 38% of all of RTAs.

Travelling too fast for contitions acounted for 11%.

The trends 2005-2009 for those figures are interesting, too.

10. Putting car’s nose out at junctions 7%

Hey – try sitting in a side road, trying to emerge out onto a main road, when no-one will let you out because they all hate your 4×4/BMW/Porsche. You stick your nose out, or you’ll soon have me behind you beeping the horn and flashing the lights, to make you get a fucking move-on.

So then, here is the Al Jahom run down of stuff that induces road rage in me:

1) Driving too slowly for the conditions and failing to allow quicker vehicles the opportunity to overtake.

2) Failure to observe proper lane discipline.

3) Indecisiveness, poor observation or timidity.

4) Flashing of headlamps, or gesticulating, at anyone with the audacity to drive more assertively than you.

5) Inability to recognise the correct speed limit on NSL sections of road.

6) Baby-on-board signs – and moreso, ‘Princess on board’ signs. May as well say ‘brain left in puddle on delivery room floor – expect erratic maneuvres’.

7) Use of foglights when visibility is good.

8) Caravans & Horse Boxes. Always.

9) Failure to indicate correctly and in a timely manner.

10) People who wear a hat while driving.

I can sum the maxims of good driving up in 7 clear words:

Get the fuck out of my way.

Alternatively, take a look at some of my ‘How to Drive’ posts.

AJ

Community Policing: Ur doin it wrong.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

It’s like South Yorkshire police have a sixth sense about when best to unleash their lunacy on an unsuspecting public.

Yesterday:

image
 

Police have broken their ‘psychological contract’ with the public to keep the streets clear of anti-social behaviour, the country’s most senior officer admitted yesterday.

Scotland Yard chief Sir Paul Stephenson accepted beat patrols had been neglected and officers left behind desks, in cars or left doing ‘social work’.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner supported the call for the public to join the fight against yobs, saying they should be confident officers will back them.

I think when they say ‘yobs’, they must mean parents dropping their disabled kids off at school.

image

Police have been accused of being ‘heavy-handed’ after sending a riot van to hand out parking tickets at a disabled school.

Parents were stunned when the vehicle pulled up as they were helping the children in wheelchairs from the school to their cars.

Officers were accused of being ‘rude’ for dishing out on the spot penalties as they waited at Hilltop Special School in Maltby near Rotherham.

One of the victims Dave Phillips was handed a £30 fixed penalty when he stopped for five minutes to pick up his wheelchair bound son Matthew, aged 16.

He had driven 15 miles from his home in Retford, Nottinghamshire, and parked outside the school before being confronted by a police woman.

He said : ‘The police response has been heavy handed – and it’s the kids they are penalising not us. The police behaviour was unpleasant and completely unnecessary.

‘Nine officers and a police van created an intimidating atmosphere around the school.
I was approached by a young policewoman who told me to "move" – not "excuse me sir" — it was just a total ignorant attitude .

‘I explained to the officer I was going to park here for five minutes to get my son. I said ‘He’s a wheelchair user and we have got a side loading lift’, – "not my problem" was the reply, "move it" so I said "no, I’m stopping here I’m going to put my son in."

South Yorkshire police said tackling ‘inconsiderate parking’ in the area was now a priority.

And they wonder why an increasing proportion of the public think that the police can go fuck themselves.

This is the same South Yorkshire Police, we should remember, who arrested and charged Paul Chambers for sending a joke tweet about an airport, which resulted in his conviction. His appeal is ongoing.

Oh and it could well be that there’s something in the police’s assertion that these parents were parking inconsiderately, but the police are supposed to treat members of the public with respect, and they fail on that count, time after time.

A disgrace to the nation, and another legacy of Labour.

AJ

Policy-Based Evidence-Making in a Nutshell

It’s so patently transparent it’s laughable.

image

Oh? Do tell? An independent study is that? Oh…

A study by Dr David Lewis, the man credited with inventing the phrase “road rage”, will be used as a major part of the Greener Journeys campaign.

Claire Haigh, a spokesman for Greener Journeys, said the findings might persuade drivers – who were already concerned about excessive CO2 emissions – that travelling by bus had health benefits as well as environmental ones.

“A survey found a fifth of motorists would be prepared to swap to public transport for reasons to do with the environment. Just one double-decker bus can take 75 cars off the road considerably reducing emissions levels,” she said.

Do I even need to dig into this absolute bollocks? The chances of a double-decker bus being 100% occupied by people who would otherwise each be on their own in a car?

Occupancy levels in city centres are an indication of this, and in one survey of city centre bus occupancy (four cities in Scotland), occupancy varied from 40% in the later morning to 80% in the morning peak.

And in London

average car occupancy in London is 1.6.

[The mayor’s] action plan does not spell out what he will do to improve London Buses’ low bus occupancy of 15, i.e. the average bus only has 15 people on it.

And certainly a proportion of those people will be those who can’t drive or don’t run a car.

I don’t think there’s much need to rehearse the other reasons why bus travel may be more unpleasant and stressful than driving. Namely the travelling public, in all their smelly, noisy, retarded glory.

It’s no coincidence that on the day of the last tube strike in London, Twitter was awash with people hating their experience with buses.

If it’s worse than the London Underground, it’s Pretty Fucking Grim.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a co-conspirator.

Driving not more stressful; At least when I am travelling in my own car I am quite happy for the man next to me to put his hand on my thigh

Quite.

AJ

Collaborators, snitches and the Stasi

I expect the forums at Pistonheads.com have been rendered in a state of apoplexy about this:

image

Thousands of drivers have been reported by fellow motorists after being spotted speeding, drink driving or talking on mobile phones.

Anyone reported twice in a year could face police action under the scheme, named Operation Crackdown. The culprits could receive a home visit or a warning letter.

Sussex Police is trialling the campaign and has already received 20,488 reports from the public. Warning letters have been sent to 2,695, while a further 1,047 have been sanctioned for offences such as having an out-of-date tax disc.

The scheme, under which reports are submitted anonymously online, could be rolled out nationally if it is deemed a success.

A newsletter promoting the scheme reads: "Are you fed up with anti-social drivers? People who still use their mobile phones while driving, not wearing seat belts or those who insist on getting right up your bumper and are really annoying and dangerous to others."

I’m sorry.. how does not wearing a seatbelt constitute anti-social or dangerous driving?

Surely they’ve seen the studies showing that when wearing seatbelts, people drive in a less risk-averse way? AKA the Peltzman effect.

No, this is not about safety or anti-social driving. It’s about the police asking members of the public to do their job for them, and in doing so, appeal to the worse-nature of the inevitable portion of society that is given to being judgemental, self-righteous, nosey and vindictive.

Dylan Sharpe of Big Brother Watch points out the most obvious flaws with the plan, and is quoted in the article.

Dylan Sharpe, of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, warned that Operation Crackdown is "based on unfounded accusations by untrained and possibly prejudiced members of the public".

He added: "This scheme is wide open to abuse, ranging from people with minor grudges against neighbours to busybody drivers who think they know what constitutes bad driving."

There is a further problem though. I drive getting on for 30,000 miles a year. On a mile for mile basis, that makes me 2-3 times more likely than the average 10k a year driver, to be reported by some embittered numpty. And yet the bar for police action is set at 2 reports over a given period, not per 10,000 miles driven. Of course it’s obvious that they can’t realistically judge it on miles driven, but the result is a creation that is manifestly unfair to those of us who drive a lot, in the course of generating revenue for the tax man to steal from us, to play for police.

But…

The main problem I have with this scheme is something of a personal one. I’m a target for this shit. I drive quickly and assertively. I have no patience for timewasters and idiots on the road.

You know what I find to be anti-social? Driving at 40mph in 50mph zone for no good reason, and causing a queue of traffic to build up.

I don’t want to be doing 40. I want to be doing 50 (probably I want to be doing more than that, but I can live with 50), and you can bet your arse that after a half mile or so, I’ll be doing everything I can to draw this fact to your fucking ignorant attention.

BMWREARVIEW 
This means “Get the fuck out of my way” you tedious wanker.

So what do the police encourage? Well they diagnose my behaviour to be anti-social and ask the 40mph fuckwit to report me.

They will doubtless fail to accept my assertion that Mr 40mph is, in fact, the one driving anti-socially.

Similarly, the art of overtaking is a dying one in this country, and when encountered, it is frequently met with righteous indignation, flashed headlamps or a ‘wanker’ gesture.

For why? I didn’t do anything dangerous. There was a plentiful gap, and I used my car’s considerable power in order to overtake swiftly and safely, in line the police driving manual Roadcraft.

No doubt a goodly proportion of these remonstrators will be moved to go on to the local police website and tell tales about me.

What’s interesting about the phenomenon regarding objections to overtaking is that the usual source of this objection comes from one of two stereotypes. Firstly, is the obvious one. Old people, of whom there are far too many on the roads, and most of them drive like total fucking morons. Secondly, though, is young men.. teenagers to late 20s. The class of the New Labour years. Conformist metrosexual sheep.

Fuck them all.

AJ

NB: This is far from being the first time that a police force has tried to make informers out of their paymasters.

UPDATE: Manwiddicombe makes an interesting case for exceptional circumstances.

This evening at around 6pm I was proceeding in an Easterly direction along the Old Shoreham Road (A270) approaching the junction for West Hove Sainsburys. I was driving *cough* at the 40 mph speed limit when a vehicle raced past me in the outside lane.

It was definitely travelling at speeds in excess of the posted limit. A *cough* passenger in my vehicle managed to take a photo of the rear of the vehicle with a mobile telephone device. Would you like to see the photo?

Whoever it is that works for this nannying outfit deserves everything they fucking get. Speed kills? Cunt.

This is just getting fucking tiresome now.

Sort this out, Eric Pickles you Happy Shopper Peter Griffin-lookalike.

image

It had been thought plans for workplace parking levies would be abandoned after ministers declared an end to the "war on motorists" within days of the Coalition’s formation.

Yeah – I think we already realised Philip Hammond was taking the piss out of us.

Initially, the parking levy was seen as a way to tackle congestion and cut carbon emissions. Now, there is growing evidence it is also being seen as a source of extra cash. Nottingham City Council will be the first council to impose a £250 levy on local employers, from 2012. Within two years, the bill will rise to £350 and will target all companies with 11 or more parking spaces.

Ah – the old cutting congestion and emissions gag. It won’t do either, and we all know why. People who drive to work do so because there is no viable alternative. They have no public transport alternative that would save them time or money, both of which are at a premium.

So I suppose that we should be grateful that some of them have decided to stop hiding behind that tired old eco bullshit.

Bristol City Council, for example, in its draft strategy, describes the levy as a "revenue stream" to help fund other transport initiatives.

Hampshire council are really taking the piss with their cover story though. I’m pretty sure Hampshire is true blue Tory, but nevertheless…

Hampshire County Council, meanwhile, is considering a "modest" – but unspecified – charge for the south of the region, including Southampton and Portsmouth, to, says a consultation document, "redress the imbalance between free commuter parking for some staff at office complexes" and "parking for other staff in public spaces where payment is required".

What they patently refuse to acknowledge is that for a lot of people who use their cars, there simply is no public transport alternative and there never will be for anyone who lives and works outside of a major city. No amount of buses, trams, trains, bicycles or carpooling is ever going to make any difference whatsoever to commuters in most of Britain. We are a cash-cow.

"Based on Nottingham it would probably work out at about £1 a day. Whether companies would pass the cost on to their staff may vary," she said. "This may not change behaviour but could raise money for public transport."

My company has around 2000 parking spaces in the UK. There is no practicable way to pass charges onto individuals on a pro-rata basis per their car-park usage.

So the company swallows the cost and claws it back by further reducing pay rises, which have already fallen significantly behind inflation over the last 3 years.

Experts on local government believe that authorities may have little alternative but to turn to drivers as a source of income. “Councils are going to look at that kind of a thing as an option,” said Caroline Green, a policy consultant with the Local Government Association. “Traditional forms of money raising will not be sufficient.”

Well I’ve got a better idea, which will avoid this whole problem at a stroke.

It’s one that I’ve personally had to get to grips with this year, as has everyone else in the private sector. If you work in the public sector, this is gonna blow your tiny mind.

Cut costs. Spend less. Waste less. It’s really quite simple, you fucking leeches.

AJ

Speed guns do not work, says copper who was caught by one.

Golden.

image

A senior policewoman clocked speeding is challenging the charge by claiming that the speed gun used by her own force was not accurate.

If she wins, it could open the floodgates to thousands of appeals from motorists across the country who have been caught using the devices.

Superintendent Helen Chamberlain, 43, was recorded driving at 79mph on a road with a 50mph limit.

She was given a verbal warning by the officer who stopped her. But a more senior officer disagreed with the decision and asked the Crown Prosecution Service to review the case.

Supt Chamberlain, from Harworth, Nottinghamshire, who works for Nottinghamshire police’s city division, pleaded not guilty to a charge of speeding at Nottingham magistrates’ court on Wednesday.

Ian Boddy, defending, said that questions over the accuracy of the speed gun test result would form the basis of her not guilty plea.

That’ll be one to watch, although I don’t like her chances, unless she’s got Nick Freeman’s firm onboard.

Thing is, this will come down to one of two things. Either she’s trying it on, or she knows that her own police force has issued thousands of penalty notices to innocent motorists who have precious little chance of defending themselves. Either way, the stench of ‘one rule for them’ lingers in the air again.

AJ